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Good evening. What is the basis for which you want to stop paying it?
So you were ordered to pay support 15 years ago and never knew?
So they are trying to garnish it?
And how did you never know that it was ordered?
This is a very odd situation. If it was ordered 15 years ago, when you divorced, one would assume that the order would have stated it AND/OR she would have gone after you to enforce it. It is possible she could not find you and now that you have SS retirement, she can try and garnish it to enforce the order, so you do need to show good cause and a legal basis, as to why she would not be entitled to it. This is something that does need a hearing and you need to explain to the Judge and show why you should not have to pay it. Another issue is if you owe the back payments, for all this time.
If you left the city, she may have sought it but could not find you but it is odd that it just popped up now, unless she did try and go after you and now that you have money to garnish, she is trying to do so.
How long was it ordered for? Do you know if she remained single ?
It needs to be looked into. For this to be stopped, you would need to show you have no legal obligation to pay what was ordered, 15 years ago and that is going to be hard to do. I say this because you were divorced and if you were at the hearing, you should have received a copy of the final order. It would appear she has tried to find you over the years, to get what she is owed, so you would need to show why she is not entitled to this and why the order should be dismissed.
I have a feeling the Judge is going to require she be present and heard. I think the issue is that the money is still owed, was never paid and you need to explain why she is not entitled to what was ordered. Yes, you can certainly show a material change and hardship and see if this can be reduced or modified but it would be ideal if you knew what she was doing all this time and why you 1) never knew of this or received the order if you were present when divorced and2) what efforts she had made to try and find you.
Yes, you certainly do for something like this. While you may want the order to stop, she is entitled to be heard and has a right to it, so just because you do not know where she is, the Judge is going to want to see you tried to find her.
You can contact Legal Aid and see if they can help and I have provided their link below.
Also, the Bar Association.